they shot the tiger on his chain
in a field behind the cages
he walked in circles til he was crazy
and he lived that way forever
and he lived that way beside them
separate from the other tigers
he did not know another tiger

they shot the tiger on his chain
in a field behind the cages
he walked in circles til he was crazy
and he lived that way forever
and he lived that way forever
just as long as he could remember
if he'd wanted to remember

it was the last time he had felt alive
when he saw that brown-haired lady
she fed him with a bottle as a baby
and he recalled her face and smile
they shot that tiger on his chain

they shot the tiger on his chain
they shot the tiger on his chain
they shot the tiger on his chain
they shot the tiger on his chain


Lyrics submitted by delial

The Tigers Have Spoken song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favourite Neko songs too.

    The hidden (dialog) final track "Tigers are noble" on the album seems to be a introduction to this song. Neko explains she saw a documentary on tigers living in captivity on TV... so the song seems to be inspired by something real.

    I guess I once kind of thought this song might be an allegory of someone who once powerful and free but ended up in chains unable to defend itself... Things are bit disturbingly ironic that the "tiger"'s only fond memories - the woman that fed it when it was young was caused by how the woman was actually part of the evil organisation that keeps it enslaved in its sad situation.

    Anyway, why does the poor tiger get shot?

    There's such a sad tone to it either way.
    elwyn5150on June 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't *believe* nobody has posted on this song yet! It is one of my favorite Neko songs ever. Some days, I feel like the tiger.
    MeowAllieCaton April 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song is quite straightforward. Neko has been quite outspoken about her dislike of zoos, keeping wild animals caged up and the way they are 'euthanized' when they go crazy or when they have outlived their entertainment value. Her more recent song 'People Gotta a lot of Nerve' from Middle Cyclone revisits this same theme. She's also a huge supporter of animal rescue shelters that refuse to euthanize discarded pets.

    The last lines about the tiger remembering his surrogate mother always brings a lump to my throat.
    ginintonicon August 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really hate it when animals get shot by people after they attack or kill somebody doing something stupid - animals behave like animals FFS.

    Today, I was reading in the newspaper how someone was taking photos of a bear in the wild from 35 to 45 metres away. He had previously taken a mandatory instruction session advising people to stay 400 metres away and how to back off. They shot and killed the bear.

    smh.com.au/environment/animals/…

    I guess this made me think of this song again.
    elwyn5150on August 28, 2012   Link

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